An on-line nurse’s aide training program is being launched by the University of Iowa’s Geriatric Education Center. Program administrator Linda Seydel says the goal is to provide Iowans, especially those in rural areas, an “anywhere, anytime” way to get training. Seydel says a pilot version of the program is almost ready to roll out. She says they’ll test the program on student-learners this spring at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg and at Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City. By late next year, it’s hoped the program can be made available to all community colleges statewide. Seydel says Iowa’s population is growing older and this type of service is badly needed as nurse’s aides are already a valued commodity. She says traditional students have difficulty accessing this type of education as Iowa is so rural. With the curriculum online, everyone will have better access. By the year 2030, more than one in five Iowans will be age 65 or older and Iowa’s already the number-two state in the nation for percentage of residents age 85 and older, behind only Florida. Seydel says Iowa needs more nurse’s aides and will only see a rising demand. C-N-As, or certified nurse assistants, provide nearly 80-percent of the direct hands-on care for elderly residents in long-term care facilities and assisted living. A federal report estimates demand for nurse’s aides in facilities nationwide could rise by up to 61-percent between 2000 and 2020.
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